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Yamo dam to solve Maralal’s water challenges

At least 64,000 households in Maralal town and its environs in Samburu County will soon have access to clean and safe water as the construction of Yamo dam nears completion.

Phase one of the Yamo dam, which has a capacity to hold 1.2 million cubic meters of water is complete and the dam can be filled in the two seasons of normal average rainfalls which occur in the county annually.

The project, which is being implemented by the Northern Water Works Development Agency at a cost of Sh1.4 billion is expected to serve the immediate township up to the year 2038 beyond which experts expect new sources to be identified.

Speaking after an inspection tour of the project, Water and Irrigation Principal Secretary Dr. Kiprono Paul said that the dam has an output of about 6,000 cubic meters per day which will be sufficient for the Maralal town residents.

“The phase one construction works of the dam are complete and the second phase will include construction of a treatment plant which requires Sh1.5 billion which the government will allocate in the next budget so that this project can be completed,” said Kiprono.

“Together with the county government, we will also map other water projects in the county and give priorities to which a budget will be allocated in the coming years,” he added.

The PS further assured the country that the government has come up with comprehensive plans for water conservation going forward through a sustainable model by constructing 100 mega dams, construction of smaller dams and drilling of boreholes in the country.

“From the weatherman, there is an indication that this rain will not last long, and as a government we have put measures in place to ensure that we store this water for use especially during dry seasons” the PS said.

Samburu Governor Jonathan Leleliit on his part said that the main challenge to access to clean water is to get a safe water source which can be piped to the residents.

“We thank the government for choosing to host the World Water Day here. There have been water challenges in this county and we hope this day brings brighter days ahead in terms of provision and access to clean water by the people of Samburu,” Leleliit said.

Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda disclosed that less than 5 per cent of the residents in Samburu County are connected to clean and safe water and a lot needs to be done to improve the situation.

Lesuuda urged the Ministry of Water to adopt the last mile electricity connectivity model used to connect households to power to make sure that every home is connected to water.

“The same way we did the last mile connectivity to power, we need water connectivity which is clean and safe to every household in the country,” Lesuuda said.

“We need to put more resources and walk the talk, so that we make sure that all women get access to water,” she added.

The MP further lamented about delayed water projects which according to her, is a poor return of the investment of the projects.

This year’s World water Day was marked in Samburu County under the theme ‘accelerating the change to solve the water and sanitation crisis’.

By Erick Kyalo

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